The Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry gave details of the small-scale fisheries (SSF) policy implementation process. The Hook shares it below.

The implementation of the Small-Scale Fisheries Policy commenced with the launch of the Small-Scale Fisheries Forum, the gazetting of the draft Regulations for Public Comment and the call for Expressions of Interest – all of which took place on 27 February 2015.

To date, the implementation of the SSFP is included as a strategic goal for DAFF over the medium term (2014/15 – 2018/19). Funds from the Marine Living Resources Fund were made available for the start of the implementation process for 2014/15.

The Director-General approved the bid process to appoint service providers for the rollout plan. The Bid Adjudicating Committee approved the recommendation to appoint two service providers and a Service Level Agreement was to be signed during March 2015.

Final Regulations and Marine Living Resources Act Amendment Act are to be promulgated on May 2015.

The rollout plan aims to implement the Small-Scale Fisheries Policy over a five-year period and the process consists of five phases.

Phase 1: Preparatory Phase

This phase lays a firm foundation in order to embark on the process of implementing the Small-Scale Fisheries Policy. The activities in this phase, amongst others, include:

  • Budget and business planning
  • Approval of a new roll-out plan for the implementation of SSFP
  • Establishment of a Steering Committee
  • Dissemination of the new roll-out plan
  • Establishment of the Small-Scale Fisheries Forum

Phase 2: Development of Support Plans

This phase requires that a number of support plans be developed and implemented so as to enhance the implementation process of the SSFP. Key plans, amongst others, include:

  • Sector management measures
  • Co-operative model
  • Co-operative constitution template
  • Co-operative management plan template
  • Communication plan
  • Stakeholder engagement plan

Sector management measures have been drafted. Co-operative models have been investigated with input from selected communities. The co-operative constitution template has been developed with assistance from the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI). The communication and stakeholder engagement plans have been discussed at Steering Committee meetings. The revenue management plan has been developed with assistance from the DTI and Co-operatives and Rural Economic Development (DAFF).

Phase 3: Formalisation of small-scale fishing communities into co-operatives

This phase is the most critical one for the successful allocation of small-scale fishing rights because it is in this phase where all bona fide small-scale fishers have to be identified, verified and registered into small-scale fishing communities. This phase includes the following activities:

  • Registration of expression of interest per community
  • Verification of fishers and identification of small-scale fishing communities
  • Conducting socio-economic baseline study of the entire sector
  • Conducting alternative livelihoods study per area
  • Registration of small-scale fishing communities as co-operatives

Phase 4: Allocation of fishing rights to small-scale fisheries co-operatives

This phase is the pinnacle of the implementation of the small-scale fisheries policy as this would be the official start of the small-scale fisheries sector when the fishing rights are allocated to small-scale fishing co-operatives in March 2016. Activities include:

  • Approval of registered co-operatives as small-scale fisheries co-operatives by the Minister
  • Business training of all co-operative board members
  • Allocation of fishing rights
  • Issuing of permits
  • Finalisation of appeals

Phase 5: Management and support of small-scale fisheries co-operatives

This is the last phase of the implementation and requires three years of providing developmental support to the small-scale fishing co-operatives. This phase is required to ensure economic development and long-term success of the co-operatives. Key activities include:

  • Facilitation of developmental programmes per co-operative in partnership with other organisations
  • Meetings of co-management structures
  • Routine management of the sector
  • Implementation and refinement of monitoring control and surveillance and catch monitoring plans
  • Review success of implementation by conducting another socio-economic study and comparing to baseline study

Besides aiming to implement the policy, the rolls out plan will also identify roles and responsibilities and key dependencies required to implement the Small-Scale Fisheries Policy. The high point of the rollout plan is the allocation of small-scale fishing rights in March 2016.

(Source: Parliamentary Monitoring Group, 2015)

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